Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo Switch emulator header

Vulkan API build for Yuzu the Nintendo Switch emulator is now available for download

In case you missed it, the team behind one of the best and fastest growing emulators for the Nintendo Switch has made a public release of a build that can utilise the Vulkan API. While this version was initially the privilege of only patreon backers, it has finally been made available to everyone.

The integration of a Vulkan back-end renderer is a big deal for two primary reasons. Firstly, the GPU in the actual Nintendo Switch is based on Nvidia architecture. Thus, gamers who wanted to play their Nintendo Switch games on an AMD GPU’s (and Intel’s embedded GPU’s) had to make do with very poor performance until now.

Secondly, from its conception, the Vulkan API has always been built to offer a more powerful alternative to OpenGL. Vulkan has the potential to be more efficient with multiple computing cores, and offers game designers a more direct interface with your GPU. Now this is something which could be extremely useful when trying to emulate complex 3D games.

As such,  the team at Yuzu have been working hard for some time to implement this nifty API into their emulator. The results now speak for themselves as several Nintendo Switch games already exhibit fewer graphical bugs when running on this API. Also, their frame rates see minor improvements on Nvidia GPU’s and major improvements non-Nvidia GPU’s.

Nevertheless, the emulator and its Vulcan iteration are still in an developmental stage, and I would advise tempering your expectations when trying out the latest Yuzu build. There is still a lot of work ahead for the Yuzu team, but at least they are famous for updating builds at blistering speeds! Do consider supporting them if you can.

You can download all the latest versions of Yuzu here.


Yuzu Vulkan Released | Performance Upgrades, GUI Overhauled & Much More